Waiver Wire - Week 11
By Matt Waldman
Updated November 13th, 2012

We still have one more week of byes, which means there are players in this report listed as potential additions that I otherwise might recommend as "drops." Many of these players will appear on the Upgrades and Downgrades report as "holds." Since this is a one-size-fits-all report and a preliminary report that feeds more nuanced decisions that our Footballguys staff will cover as the week progresses with updated information and analysis, I'm trying to cover a wide range of possibilities. Keep that in mind as you read this report during the bye weeks.

Waiver Wire Adds

Note: All players are ranked in order of preference unless explicitly noted otherwise.

Quarterback Options

There are 3-4 solid bye-week options with relatively equal value as one- or two-week options and two players capable of starting if you need to make moves to shore up other positions by trading away a more established signal caller.

In case anyone dropped . . .

These players are worth bidding 15-20 percent of your money if you need a quarterback.

Phillip Rivers, Chargers: Danario Alexander has given San Diego a fighting chance to produce through the air on a weekly basis, because of his deep speed, skill after the catch on short passes, and most of all, his hands. He isn't the drive-ender that Robert Meachem is. Rivers was 29-of-37 for 337 yards for 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, finding three different receivers for plays that resulted in scores. If you're in a shallow league and a team dropped Rivers, he's worth a bye-week addition because even with Rivers throwing the game away with a pick-six on a rollout where he must have been blind not to see the Buccaneers defender at the sideline, the Chargers now have the talent outside to keep defenses honest against the rest of its receiving weapons.

Joe Flacco, Ravens: The Raiders defense continues to have lapses that cost the team's chances of competing giving up 98 points during the past two weeks. Meanwhile Flacco was considered droppable last week after failing to exceed a 250-yard game since Week 5. The Ravens starter hit Torrey Smith for two touchdowns to Torrey Smith en route to a 341-yard, 3-score afternoon, including a 47-yard bomb up the right flat early in the third quarter to keep the lead above 17 points for the rest of the contest. The Steelers, Chargers, and Redskins are all vulnerable to the pass. Flacco is a hit-or-miss type of committee starter who hits big when he's on.

Priority medium-term bye-week/spare tire options: 5-10 percent of blind bidding budget

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills: As mentioned for the past two weeks, the Bills got the Patriots this week, which made Fitzpatrick a good option to consider as a strong one-week play. Fitzpatrick delivered with a 27-of-40, 337-yard, 2-touchdown, 1-interception performance. The fact that he gets the Dolphins, Colts, Jaguars, and Rams, makes him a worthwhile option for fantasy owners who might have gone all-in with Michael Vick or had to make trades and take chances on committee-type starters who haven't worked out.

Russell Wilson, Seahawks: Wilson is 53-of-78 for 608 yards and 7 touchdowns during the past three weeks, including this week's 2-touchdown effort against the Jets. This was his fourth multiple-touchdown outing as a passer in five weeks. Wilson continues to look good as a scrambler, finding receivers down field after avoiding pressure that most quarterbacks could not. His 31-yard score to Sidney Rice was a great pass on the line up the right seam that was placed perfectly over the receiver's inside shoulder despite tight coverage from the defensive back. Although Wilson continues to produce well, he did take four sacks and lost the ball on one of those that led to a runback for a touchdown in the first quarter. Every week, Sidney Rice is looking healthier and Golden Tate is playing with more confidence. The Dolphins, Bears, Cardinals, and Bills are next. He's probably the best of the mid-to-low end QB2s and worth an addition to a second committee passer who has underwhelmed for your squad.

Matchup Spare Tires/Bye Week Guys: 3-5 percent of blind bidding budget

These aren't players I'd recommend during non-bye weeks, but they are worth a look in deep leagues if desperate for a one-week start.

Jake Locker, Titans: The Titans second-year, future of the franchise returned to action from his twice-separated shoulder and was a mediocre 9-of-21 for 122 yards with 2 touchdowns. The two scores and 36 yards rushing kept he overall effort from being a poor fantasy outing. Locker's pass over the middle to Kendall Wright for the Titans' first touchdown set the tempo and Chris Johnson responded with a Marcus Allen-like, reversal of field for a 17-yard score. By the time, linebacker Colin McCarthy scored on 49-yard pick-six set up by a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage, Locker had a 21-0 lead to work with. The Jaguars, Texans, Colts, Jets, and Packers are the schedule after the Week 11 Bye. This is a decent enough schedule to consider Locker if desperate for a committee starter that could provide reasonably good production (low-end QB1 production) more weeks than not down the stretch.

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins: The Dolphins rookie had his worst outing in weeks. He was 23-of-39 for 217 yards with no touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Two of the interceptions weren't entirely Tannehill's fault; one was a tipped pass that landed in linebacker Colin McCarthy's arms and resulted in a 49-yard return. Tannehill's last three-interception was the opener against the Texans. Since then Tannehill has thrown five touchdowns to three picks until this game. I still think he's still a safe bye-week option next week and believe he'll bounce back due to his poise.

Desperation Bye-Week Plays: 1 percent of blind bidding budget

Sam Bradford, Rams: Bradford gets a boost because Danny Amendola returned to the lineup. The Rams quarterback was 26-of-39 for 275 yards and 2 touchdowns. The first was a 36-yarder to Brian Quick who knocked down the 49ers corner in press coverage in the first quarter and was wide open. Until Bradford can have consistent options both in the vertical game and the possession game, he's not worth more than a desperation matchup against the likes of the Jets and Cardinals. Chris Givens might develop into that option, but he has only been worth one play a week, even if it has been a big one.

John Skelton, Cardinals: Don't look know but John Skelton had three consecutive games with at least 260 yards passing and against the Packers the week before its bye, he went 23-of-46 for 306 yards and a score as a follow up to a 290-yard versus the 49ers. Those two weeks were blowout losses so garbage time remains a factor. Still, fantasy owners need to pay attention to the increased presence of rookie Michael Floyd, who caught five passes for 80 yards, including a 37-yard reception. In fact, Skelton had four receivers with at least 50 yards receiving and 3 with at least 70. The three wideouts each had a catch that spanned 30 yards or more in distance. The Cardinals face the Falcons next week, which isn't a great matchup but with this developing personnel of wide outs a fantasy owner could do worse.

Brandon Weeden, Browns: Weeden made the spiraling Ravens defense look pretty good two weeks ago, going 20-of-37 for 176 yards and tossing 2 interceptions. One interception was a target meant for Jordan Cameron who appeared to run the wrong route and Weeden's pass sailed behind the tight end. The next interception was a missed deep ball intended for speedster Travis Benjamin that Ed Reed caught with a diving effort. The Browns face the Cowboys for the final bye week of the season. Weeden should not be an option against Dallas unless incredibly desperate.

Colin Kaepernick, 49ers: Alex Smith suffered a concussion during the game and the second-year quarterback went 11-of-17 for 117 yards with another 66 yards on 8 carries and a touchdown on a run around right end that culminated with a diving effort to the front pylon. Think of Kaepernick as a player with the physical potential similar to Vince Young . He's boom-bust option if he has to face the Bears, Saints, and/or Rams in the coming weeks. He'll likely return to the bench unless Smith's concussion proves to be more than a one-week deal.

Jason Campbell, Bears: If Jay Cutler's concussion forces him to miss next week's match up with the 49ers, Campbell will draw the start. He has a big arm and reasonably mobility. He's capable of a 250-yard game and multiple touchdowns, but don't count on it because he's not as good against pressure as Cutler. I'm only mentioning him to give owners a heads up in start-two QB leagues with deep rosters and 14-16 teams.

Nick Foles, Eagles: If the Eagles bench Michael Vick, Foles will draw a good schedule down the stretch that includes the Redskins (twice), the Panthers, Buccaneers, and Bengals. He did buy time in the pocket and found Jeremy Maclin on a 44-yard pass that he threw across his body and the receiver fielded like a punt behind the secondary. However, the rookie is not great under pressure and he's not especially mobile. Expect performances reminiscent of Brandon Weeden's worst weeks if Philadelphia benches Vick. I'm only mentioning him to give owners a heads up in start-two QB leagues with deep rosters and 14-16 teams.

Byron Leftwich, Steelers: Leftwich was a first-round pick in his own right, but his elongated delivery cost him a chance to remain a starter in Jacksonville. He's an accurate thrower and an anchor in the pocket, but he is prone to hanging his receivers out to dry and generating turnovers due to his throwing motion. The Steelers' short passing game may help Leftwich remain productive, but the Chiefs didn't take long to begin jumping short routes due to Leftwich's telegraphing of throws. The Pittsburgh reserve was 7-of-14 for 73 yards and hit a couple of nice throws including a 31-yard crossing route to Emmanuel sanders on third-and-9 for a first down. However, his most significant attempts were a miss of Mike Wallace on a deep post in the fourth quarter and a back shoulder throw to Sanders near the pylon. Leftwich devalues every offensive skill player on the Steelers squad because he's not able to buy time like Ben Roethlisberger. Consider Leftwich a low-end QB2 until Roethlisberger can return.

Charlie Batch, Steelers: Leftwich tends to get hurt because he takes a ton of punishment due to his immobility in the pocket, his willingness to hang tough under pressure, and his elongated delivery. Don't be surprised if Batch is called into service at some point if Roethlisberger is out for multiple games. Batch is a savvy veteran with a limited arm, enough maneuverability to improvise in the pocket. Batch is one of the best No.3 quarterbacks on any NFL depth chart, but it doesn't make him anything better than a low-end fantasy QB2 if he sees the field.

Running Back Options

There continue to be talented players available on the waiver wire that have performed well enough to establish themselves as handcuffs or committee backs. If your team has the good fortune of adding players that you don't necessarily need while making drops that don't require a lot of thought then this is a good position to target. There is also one player at the top of the list that has demonstrated starter production for as long as he's the only healthy feature back on the team's depth chart.

Priority Adds: 8-12 percent of blind bidding budget

Mark Ingram, Saints: Ingram's 16-carry, 62-yard outing was a nice display of yards after contact against the Falcons. Coach Joe Vitt has mandated the Saints offense run the ball more often and this did help the Saints passing game. Even if Darren Sproles returns, Ingram and Chris Ivory have earned more touches than Pierre Thomas during the past two weeks. Consider Ingram a hot hand with the opportunity to get hotter against the likes of the Raiders, Falcons, and Giants during three of the next four weeks.

Week-to-Week Values: 5-7 percent of blind bidding budget

These are players earning time in the starting lineup with potential for RB1 weeks under the right circumstance.

Chris Ivory, Saints: Ivory runs like Adrian Peterson in the sense that he's big, physical, fast, and has moves to make defenders miss. More than anything, he runs with an aggressive nature. When putting together all of these facets of his game, Ivory has runs that look like something from the back whose home is where the Mississippi starts and not where it ends. Mark Ingram is playing better as he earns more opportunities and remains above Ivory on the depth chart. Even with Darren Sproles possibly returning next week against the Raiders, head coach Joe Vitt has made it clear that he wants to run the ball more. I think Ivory is out-playing Ingram. His 56-yard touchdown where he made a gigantic "S" on the field while weaving through and around defenders is the type of play I don't think Ingram has the burst to make in the NFL. Ivory appears close to doing it several times a game. In terms of what I've seen on the field, I'll be surprised if Ivory returns to the bench when Sproles is ready. In terms of what I've seen in the NFL, you better be prepared that it might happen. I'd bid closer to Ingram's value if you believe he's playing too well to bench.

Shane Vereen, Patriots: Vereen had minimal opportunities the past two weeks. Stevan Ridley remains the undisputed starter, but Vereen has starter skill, which makes him a nice upside addition with the Colts and Jets ahead and Brandon Bolden suspended for a performance enhancing substance violation. He's a solid desperation bye-week start that should earn you some points in the red zone and possibly a lot more if Ridley were to get hurt or underperform during the game.

Ronnie Hillman, Broncos: Willis McGahee is still the best all-around back in Denver and he is running the ball well enough that he's at little risk of losing starter touches. However, McGahee has also fumbled the ball four times in recent weeks and it is something to keep an eye on. Even if McGahee were to get hurt, Hillman might be limited to a committee rotation. Still, Hillman is looking better in pass protection and earning enough opportunities each week to illustrate that the Broncos are gaining confidence in the young runner. His upside as a runner is good enough that he could generate big plays on fewer touches and there's always the chance that his development continues to happen at a quick enough pace to earn flex-play production.. Hillman continues to earn late-game looks when the Broncos earn a commanding lead. With the Chargers, Chiefs, Buccaneers, and Raiders next, it could happen a couple of times down the stretch.

Week-to Week Values: 3-5 percent of blind bidding budget

Donald Brown, Colts: Brown returned from a knee injury three weeks ago to split carries (plus one) with Vick Ballard, and generating a healthy 5.7-yards-per-carry average on 14 touches. Then he had a setback and missed the Dolphins game. Brown isn't a great runner, but he's an effective flex-player with some big-play upside when he finds a lane that he can bounce outside or a screen pass that he can take up the flat. The fact that the Colts gave Brown this many carries upon his return means that he's firmly entrenched as at least part of a committee when healthy. This week he split touches down the middle with Vick Ballard against the Jaguars. He returns to flex-play status down the stretch of the regular fantasy season. If a fantasy owner drops Brown in frustration due to the late-week scratch, the Colts runner is worth a salvage operation.

Felix Jones, Cowboys: Jones has25 carries for 110 yards and 8 catches for 92 yards and a touchdown during the past two weeks. Starter Demarco Murray's return is imminent, which means Jones is a reasonably flex if the Cowboys' starter isn't back for the Browns matchup. If Murray has a setback, Jones is a nice option to keep on your roster because the Redskins, Beagles, Bengals, Steelers, and Saints is a nice schedule for any running game. Did I just call the Eagles, Beagles? Freudian slip.

Marcel Reece, Raiders: If Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson are out for an extended period of time, Reece could be the most valuable Raiders running back on the roster due to his receiving skills. He led all Raiders receivers last weekend with 95 yards on 8 receptions, including a 13-yard pass up the right sideline to the end zone in the late fourth quarter. This weekend he had 104 total yards on 20 touches with a near, 50-50 split in rushing and receiving yardage. Reece was a former receiver at the University of Washington and he catches the ball like one. Oakland faces the Saints, Bengals, and Browns next, and it makes Reece a potentially good flex-play. Considering that Reece will play in all one-back sets as the starter and Taiwan Jones in two-back sets and one-back sets are more common for this offense, Taiwan Jones has minimal value as long as Reece is healthy and the Raiders defense can't stop anyone.

Andre Brown, Giants: Brown's role has been stable the past three weeks. He had 20 yards and a touchdown for two weeks as the short-yardage, red zone option and change-of-pace runner to Ahmad Bradshaw, and then increased that total with 65 yards and a score on 7 carries this weekend. Brown had 12 touches for 94 yards against the Bengals. Although David Wilson still lurks as a late-season option, t Brown is the better short-term committee back for the Giants and is eating away at Wilson's late-season appeal. Of course, so are the Giants' losses. Brown is a worthwhile flex with potential RB2 upside if Ahmad Bradshaw loses time.

Alex Green, Packers: With Cedric Benson ditching his walking boot and working towards a Week 14 return, Green's fantasy playoff future might be relegated to the bench. His present also appears to be as a committee runner with James Starks, who saw touches early last weekend. The Lions (twice), Giants, and Vikings after the Week 10 bye feature teams that can throw the ball against this vulnerable Packer secondary. Green is a desperation flex-play.

DeAngelo Williams, Panthers: Williams reminded fantasy owners that his skills haven't diminished when he bounced a run outside the Redskins defense for a 30-yard score untouched up the right sideline two weeks ago, but he also reminded fans that he's not reliable in Carolina when he had six yards on six carries and a reception for 17 yards against the Broncos this weekend. He's still a worthwhile handcuff with desperation flex appeal, but it's sad to see a player with this talent reduced to this workload and production.

James Starks, Packers: Starks did his usual thing two weeks ago, averaging less than four yards per carry, but had a promising run or two in the process. He earned starter carries to begin the game and split time with Alex Green throughout. The Packers don't have a run-favorable, fantasy schedule ahead and Cedric Benson has removed his walking boot with hopes of playing by Week 14. Consider Starks a low-end flex-play in the coming weeks.

Bye-week desperation additions: 1-3 percent of blind bidding

Danny Woodhead, Patriots: Woodhead remains the quintessential desperation bye-week player. His opportunities come in the red zone and he's a fine runner and receiver in the spread. He's the Patriots' answer to Pierre Thomas but lacking the size and rugged style. Woodhead's upside is lacking due to a low carry count as a cog in the Patriots' offensive machine. However, he can provide 6 to 16 fantasy points depending on the frequency he's used. This weekend he had between one-to-four points more than that top-end projection, depending on the league. As I mentioned three weeks ago, I think Woodhead's value will remain the same while Vereen's has more potential to increase due to his big-play ability and physical dimensions. However, if I'm seeking a safe 40-70 yards from a bye-week option, Woodhead is probably the best of the options in this tier.

Daryl Richardson, Rams: The Jets, Cardinals, and a rematch with the 49ersisn't a good schedule for fantasy opportunities, but Richardson continues to run hard as well as make plays after the catch. He had his usual 50 yards this week against San Francisco, including a 32-yard gain. Richardson is little more than a desperation flex-play but like Danny Woodhead he has become a steady option despite minimal upside as long Steven Jackson remains in the lineup.

Ronnie Brown, Chargers: The former Dolphins runner is carving out a niche as a third-down back for the Chargers, earning 11 touches and 83 yards against the Chiefs, but only earning 5 touches this weekend for 24 hours against the Buccaneers. He's still a viable one-week, desperation flex-play with potential for greater upside.

Evan Royster, Redskins: Receiving skills make Royster an option with Alfred Morris injuring his shoulder. If Morris' injury forces him to miss time or see limited looks in the coming weeks, Royster might earn committee opportunities as a do-it-all, change of pace option. He's a desperation option with upside if Morris misses time or sees a carry-count.

Late Season Lotto: 1 percent

These are players worth considering if you're seeking options that don't need to pay off now, but could reap dividends later. Only add if you're dropping a defense, a kicker, or untradeable depth at positions that lack the necessary productivity or talent to keep them.

Mike Goodson, Raiders: As I've been saying for weeks, if you're seeking this year's potential Michael Bush a player capable of taking over if McFadden got hurt down the stretch Goodson is a worthwhile bet to consider with a mid-November and December schedule that includes the decimated Ravens defense, the Saints, Bengals, Browns, Broncos, Chiefs, and Panthers. Unfortunately Goodson sprained his ankle in the same game Darren McFadden left with a lower leg injury. If the sprain is a lower ankle sprain, Goodson could be back in a week or two and take over the starting job if McFadden's injury is serious. If the injury is a high ankle sprain, Goodson's best shot of returning will be in a month. This would still make him a reasonable addition during the playoffs due to the Raiders schedule, but not a priority stash. Monitor the diagnosis of Goodson's and McFadden's injuries before making a decision.

Cedric Benson, Packers: Benson could be back by Week 14 and this Packers running game isn't functioning at the same level without the veteran. He could be a nice playoff stash, especially for most championship weeks where Green Bay faces Tennessee.

Chris Wells, Cardinals: Wells, like Benson, is on track to return and he'll be the most talented of the healthy options on the Cardinals depth chart. The fact that the Cardinals receiving corps is developing at a nice rate could also help the running game. Truth be told, that's about as optimistic as I can get about the situation for Wells because Arizona schedule isn't favorable for fantasy running backs.

David Wilson, Giants: Wilson continues to perform well on kick returns, but he hasn't seen touches as a running back for the past two weeks. Although Coach Tom Coughlin says that Wilson is making progress towards regaining the team's trust, Andre Brown is the change-of-pace option. Wilson remains a patience play for fantasy owners and he could work his way into a part-time role and eventually a lead back during the fantasy playoffs when teams rest its starters. If you have the luxury to add Wilson now, do it. If you're seeking an immediate help to your running back corps, Andre Brown is the better option. Brown might remain the better option the way that he's playing.

Peyton Hillis, Chiefs: Hillis is healthy enough to split carries with Jamaal Charles. Although Charles suffered a head injury last week, he passed concussion tests this weekend. The Chiefs have a nice late-season stretch run that includes the Panthers, Browns, Raiders, and Colts. If you can deal with the Steelers, Bengals, and Broncos next, Hillis might be worth an addition as a desperation flex with upside as a handcuff to Charles. Just don't overspend because Hillis didn't look completely healthy and Shaun Draughn also saw enough carries to limit Hillis' upside. This may continue.

Daniel Thomas, Dolphins: Thomas scored last week and saw enough carries this week that he appears to be recuperated from his concussion-related issues that kept him off the field in weeks prior. He's the clear handcuff to Reggie Bush as rookie Lamar Miller has faded into the woodwork.

Bernard Pierce, Ravens: Pierce is Ray Rice's handcuff and if the Ravens can make the playoffs, Pierce might see more time down the stretch if Baltimore opts to rest Rice. Pierce is a powerful back with better speed than many realize.

Bryce Brown, Eagles: If LeSean McCoy gets hurt Brown will be the primary option and potentially the feature back in McCoy's absence. When McCoy hurt his hand on a drive in the first half against the Falcons, McCoy gained five yards around right end in the red zone and the run was an impressive display of power where he bounced off a hard hit to his thigh from an angle that normally brings backs to the ground. Only Trent Richardson was a more heralded back coming out of high school and Brown earned comparisons to Bo Jackson by some of his Eagles teammates. Hyperbole yes, but Brown has the athleticism, hands, running skill to develop into a top-15 fantasy starter sooner if given the opportunity.

Robert Turbin, Seahawks: The rookie running back for the Seahawks continues to play well. He has worked at his craft and taken to the coaching that he has needed to develop into a decisive, physical runner. The physical skill to plow through defenders and hit a hole swiftly has always been there, but the maturity to do it has not. If Marshawn Lynch were to miss time, Turbin has enough skill to earn no worse than RB2-caliber production behind a good, young offensive line and a run-based offense that complements a stingy defense that will help keep the run game a viable part of the game plan. Turbin is a perfect luxury stash for fantasy owners with the room to add a player poised to produce if called upon.

Delone Carter, Colts: Carter is a strong runner with some acceleration and excellent balance. He needs to work harder at pass protection and ball security. He has made enough strides to continue to see increased reps while Donald Brown has missed time. Brown was back last week and split carries with Vick Ballard. Carter remains a promising player if he earns attempts due to injuries to Brown or Ballard.

Jamie Harper, Titans: He appears to be the primary backup to Chris Johnson behind a Titans line that is improving its play. If you own Johnson, Harper is worth an addition as his handcuff.

Lance Dunbar, Cowboys: Dunbar is a short, shifty back with good quickness and creativity. He is beginning to see more favor as the No.2 back to Felix Jones. If Demarco Murray and Jones were to miss time, Dunbar would probably split opportunities with Phillip Tanner. Both of these reserves have the talent to produce as solid flex-options if called upon as a committee for the Cowboys.

Phillip Tanner, Cowboys: Felix Jones is the ultimate underachiever and a history of fragility and inconsistency. Tanner could become a viable player if Demarco Murray isn't ready to return soon. Here's a scouting report on the former star from Middle Tennessee State for more information about his explosiveness, agility, and urgent running style. With the nature of Murray's injury and Jones' health history, keep Tanner in mind. Just understand that this Cowboys line is banged up and you're hoping for a long run every week to earn Tanner or Jones starter points. Lance Dunbar is earning enough opportunities to consider him even or higher than Tanner on the depth chart.

Isaiah Pead, Rams: The rookie is an explosive runner with good receiving skills. He is agile and considered a potential starter within the next 2-3 seasons. If Stephen Jackson gets hurt, Pead should earn No.2 opportunities as a committee back.

Johnny White, Packers: White is a hard runner with good receiving skills. If he gets a shot to play, he might surprise. However, he'll need to learn pass protection in Green Bay, which could take some time.

Montario Hardesty, Browns: Hardesty is a talented runner stuck behind the most talented rookie runner in the league. Hardesty's knees make him a very risky addition, but he's still worth mentioning in some leagues as Richardson's handcuff.

Michael Smith, Buccaneers: Smith has enough talent to develop into the No.2 option in Tampa. He was Robert Turbin's teammate at Utah State and many considered him a smarter runner. He's a smaller, explosive back than Turbin but he runs hard with excellent pad level. He's worth a handcuff to Doug Martin if Blount is dealt.

LeGarrette Blount, Buccaneers: Blount had borderline first-round talent at Oregon, but he had a high school player's attitude early in his career. If he can keep his job as the No.2 back he's a Doug Martin injury away from earning the starting job and offering fantasy RB2 production.

Wide Receiver Options

Like the quarterback position, there are receivers on this list that fantasy owners can use right away. Only a few have every-week upside and potential to grow into a larger role. The rest are the type of players a fantasy owner can add and drop as necessary.

Priority Additions: 15-25 percent of blind bidding budget

Golden Tate, Seahawks: Tate's recent performance might be evidence that he's no longer an up-and-down performer. Tate followed up his 64-yard, 7-catch outing against the Lions with a two-touchdown effort against the Viking and now, he caught and threw a touchdown against the Jets this weekend despite only earning two targets. Tate's touchdown was a terrific grab over his coverage for a 38-yard score in the first quarter. He's a physical player who plays with abandon when the ball is in the air or if he has to vault into the air to earn extra yardage as a ball carrier. Tate's quarterback Russell Wilson is playing better football as the season progresses. Keep him in mind as a flex-play with Brandon Gibson or Davone Bess' floor, but a higher ceiling due to his vertical skill. The Dolphins, Bears, Cardinals, and Bills make him an up-and-down option, but still worth consideration.

Cecil Shorts, Jaguars: Shorts makes plays down field and with the return of Laurent Robinson to the Jaguars lineup, this offense could begin to make life easier for Blaine Gabbert. Shorts and Gabbert are developing strong down field rapport and he has 15 catches for 251 yards and a touchdown during the past 10 quarters with Gabbert under center. He is worth adding as a flex-play with upside. Although the Rams receiver Chris Givens has been more consistent until this weekend, I think Shorts is the better talent at this stage of the two receivers' careers. He's more likely to earn multiple receptions compared to Givens.

Danario Alexander, Chargers: Alexander is among the most talented receivers on this weeks' waiver wire, but he's among the most fragile. If he can stay healthy he's an upgrade in talent and consistency to major free agent acquisition Robert Meachem who has to do physics calculations to successfully catch the football. I'm beginning to think that Meachem will discover the equation for successful time travel before he pieces together a good fantasy season. Alexander is worth a boom-bust addition if you have the luxury because he's big, fast, catches the ball consistently, and is closer to Vincent Jackson than anything the Chargers front offense could assemble this offseason. His three catches for 61 yards against the Chiefs was a nice indication of what's to come if the Chargers continue to have the sense to use him and admit its massive mistake taking Meachem. This weekend, Alexander had 136 yards on 5 catches, including a short slant in the first quarter that the big receiver turned into an 80-yard score when he spun through a hit and wrap about 10 to 15 yards down field and did a fantastic job maintaining his balance so he could outrun the defense the rest of the way. When healthy, Alexander can actually do justice to a Vincent Jackson impression.

Danny Amendola, Rams: Amendola had a nice week against 49ers, including a long pass and run to get the Rams inside the five in overtime that was nullified due to a penalty. Amendola had 11 catches for 102 yards and continues to serve me crow every week he's healthy. His schedule, which includes San Francisco in a rematch, the Jets, and Cardinals, isn't good, but he should be good for a solid floor of flex-production now that he's sufficiently healed. He's likely more consistent than the three options listed ahead of him in this tier, but his upside isn't as big unless in PPR leagues. In that case, he's on par.

Bench depth w/flex upside: 8-10 percent of blind bidding budget

Titus Young, Lions: Young is proving an inconsistent fantasy option with high upside, but swings that could make fantasy owners seasick. His one-yard score kept him a viable fantasy option despite being held to less than 40 yards receiving. The fact that he earned 7 targets, third on the team behind Calvin Johnson and Joique Bell, is encouraging that he'll remain a decent flex option against the Packers, Texans, and Colts.

Michael Floyd, Cardinals: Floyd continues to see more time in the Cardinals offense and his 80 yards receiving was his best week yet. The team reportedly plans to continue giving the rookie more time in the lineup after the bye. It makes Floyd a worthwhile option as a bye-week option or late-season stash.

T.Y. Hilton, Colts: Hilton is the Colts version of Travis Benjamin. He's dynamic after the catch and he's a better route runner than many might think. Hilton isn't as good of a technician as Benjamin, but he has a far better rookie quarterback. Hilton is considered a young player on the rise, but he's hit-or-miss, bye-week option with flex-play potential. With Donnie Avery potentially missing time after suffering an injury versus the Dolphins, Hilton had six catches for 102 yards and a touchdown that could have been 142 yards and 2 scores if not for a drop. He wasn't the same producer against the Jaguars because Donnie Avery was healthy enough to play. With the Bills and Lions next, Hilton has a good chance to continue solid flex production with big-play upside. However, Avery will make Hilton a bigger boom-bust option.

Ryan Broyles, Lions: Broyles is still more of a flex play for the Lions offense, splitting opportunities for targets with tight end Tony Scheffler. However we're seeing that Young still has to work through his volatile reputation. Consider Broyles a worthwhile investment as a boom-bust option with starter upside down the stretch. Broyles has been up and down during the past three weeks, and this weekend he only saw one target for six yards. The long-term upside is as big as any of the players listed above him this week. However, he's probably the greatest boom-bust option as a rookie just a year removed from an ACL tear.

Bye-Week Options: 3-7 percent of blind bidding budget

Davone Bess, Dolphins: Bess has 30 catches for 420 yards during the last six weeks and rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill appears to be developing a stronger rapport with the veteran. Bess should continue to have stable flex-production if not solid WR3 numbers against a favorable matchup with the Bills. If you can't get the bigger names above, Bess is a nice consolation prize for just one week.

Jeremy Kerley, Jets: The second-year receiver from TCU, who used to be Andy Dalton's favorite target, remains Mark Sanchez's most reliable option. Kerley had 57 yards on 5 catches, most of it on a 43-yard gain where he put a double move on Brandon Browner. The Seahawks cornerback got caught looking into the backfield and Kerley spun outside Browner to get up the sideline for the catch. He then made the safety miss with a nice cut, nearly scoring but was run down. The Rams and Patriots are next, which makes Kerley as solid an option as Bess.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders: Heyward-Bey had his second decent game in a row after three tough weeks. Last week it was an 85-yard effort that could have been a 100-plus-one-touchdown game if not for a defensive pass interference penalty. He also did a poor job last week of working towards an opening game fade in single coverage that resulted in an interception. This weekend, he bounced off an Ed Reed hit and took a pass for a 55-yard score. This was a bad tackle attempt by Reed, but Heyward-Bey has the ability to make defenders pay for this kind of lackluster effort. The Raiders are in dire need of consistent receiving options and Heyward-Bey is not one of those players. If you're seeking big-play upside, then Heyward-Bey is at the head of the class in this tier due to his quarterback.

Chris Givens, Rams: Three weeks ago Givens had his fifth big play in as many weeks, gaining 50 yards on a deep pass for a touchdown early in the Patriots contest. I have said for the past three weeks that Givens is a more talented and developed prospect than Brian Quick. One thing is certain, he's a far more sudden an athlete. He also has good quickness, agility, and vision as a runner after the catch. This is why the St. Louis Post-Dispatch believed Givens would earn Danny Amendola's targets in the slot. Thus far Givens has earned enough looks to produce as a boom-bust, big-play option and remains a low-bid bargain as a solid flex-play. Givens continues to demonstrate upside at a bargain investment. Just be aware that Givens was inactive this weekend for violating team rules and stay tuned to any resulting fallout.

Greg Little, Browns: Little's upside and second chances to contribute in the starting lineup remains good enough that he warrants a look as a flex-play or desperation WR3. Little and Josh Gordon are splitting the majority of the Browns targets in recent weeks. He's a risky bid, because his development remains erratic but he is still worth solid consideration because if the light comes on completely rather than flickers, he has starter talent.

Andrew Hawkins, Bengals: Hawkins lacks Davone Bess' consistency, but he has more upside after the catch. His touchdown reception in the flat this weekend placed him back on the flex radar. If the Bengals can get some consistency from Mohamed Sanu or soon-to-return Marvin Jones, Hawkins might earn more targets if those rookies draw more attention.

Donald Jones, Bills: Jones has been consistent in recent weeks. He has 16 catches for 186 yards and two touchdowns during the past three weeks, including a 2-yard score on a short post this weekend. With the Dolphins, Colts, Jaguars, and Rams next, Jones makes a reasonable flex-play for the desperate even if he's generally the No.3 or No.4 option most weeks.

Laurent Robinson, Jaguars: Robinson has 15 catches for 118 yards during the last two weeks and with the Colts, Texans, Titans, and Bills ahead, he has a good shot to produce as a low-end possession, flex. He did a nice job on back-shoulder throws with Blaine Gabbert under center on Thursday. His 15 targets also led the team.

Lotto Tickets and 1 percent hit-or-miss bye-week options "Duct-Tape"

Marvin Jones, Bengals: Jones tore his MCL on a kickoff three weeks ago. Marvin Lewis believed that Jones had a chance to return this week, but he was ruled out. Jones was questionable on the injury report for this game whereas he was doubtful the week before. If he can return, he might earn a shot to start as planned four weeks ago. Jones is probably my favorite technician among the receivers in this 2012 NFL Draft class. If he can play by the 18th against the Chiefs and then face the Raiders and Chargers, he could offer some flex production at a low price.

Mohamed Sanu, Bengals: The rookie from Rutgers had four touches for 34 yards three weeks ago, three of them for 27 yards as a receiver. Last week he caught a seam route and crossed the field for a 34-yad gain and nearly made a one-handed catch of a fade route thrown too high and in tight coverage in the end zone. He had a 10-yard touchdown catch on a pass thrown behind him in tight coverage against Prince Amukamara this weekend. With Marvin Jones still working to return from a torn MCL, Sanu may continue to earn more opportunities. He's only worth a bye-week desperation call in deep leagues, but each week his production is getting slightly better.

Brandon Gibson, Rams: The former Washington State star remains a reliable component of the passing game and as long as the Rams can generate production from a big-play threat like Chris Givens it helps Gibson remain a good possession receiver. He had 91 yards against the Dolphins on 7 catches and then 60 yards on 5 catches against the Packers. He's adept at finding his way behind defensive backs for plays of 20-30 yards. He only had 46 yards on 3 catches against the Patriot and 3-47 against the 49ers this weekend, but any points are good for a desperation flex-play and he's earned that label. Gibson is one of these fantasy players that may not be an exciting addition, but he's worth a one-week addition if in need of a short-term spare.

Juron Criner, Raiders: Criner saw as many targets (3) as Rod Streater this weekend, catching 2 for 26 yards. He's a player that the Raiders want to get on the field and it's happening in fits and starts. He's probably not worth adding, but worth a mention if this trend of seeing time continues.

Stephen Hill, Jets: The rookie continues to flash skills that should help him develop into a player the way fellow alum Demaryius Thomas grew into a quality fantasy starter. It won't be this year that Hill reaches that potential, but he will be a big-play upside investment along the lines of Chris Givens just in an offense that is slightly worse than the Rams, but arguably a more difficult schedule. His upside makes him reasonably strong fantasy duct-tape, at least next week versus the Patriots.

Michael Spurlock, Jaguars: The former Ole Miss star and Buccaneers special teams weapon has 11 catches for 96 yards and a score during the past two weeks. He has been a reliable option for Blaine Gabbert underneath and with his speed, he has some vertical possibilities. With Lauren Robinson and Cecil Shorts starting to look good, and Marcedes Lewis continuing to underachieve, Spurlock could continue to be a low-end PPR flex option.

Jarius Wright, Vikings: The rookie from Arkansas made a diving, catch over his outside shoulder on a deep pass to set up a short reception for a touchdown. This accounted for 57 of his 65 yards on the day. He had three catches on five targets and while he demonstrates some speed and quickness, he shouldn't be considered a valued replacement to Percy Harvin. He's a deep-league desperation flex if Harvin remains out for another week, but with Week 11 off Wright is unlikely to earn similar targets in Week 12.

Josh Morgan, Redskins: Morgan might be the No.1 receiver in Washington, but when a 16-yard catch not resulting in a touchdown is a highlight-worthy play by NFL.com's estimation, it's an indication that this offense is a run-heavy unit lacking big plays down field. Morgan' 16-yard catch was a nice, leaping grab against contact but he's an inconsistent fantasy receiver due to opportunities and skill set. He drops his share of passes and has issues getting open against quality cornerbacks.

Jerricho Cotchery, Steelers: Cotchery lacks big-time upside, but if Antonio Brown is out for an extended period of time, the veteran can play all three receiver positions and he makes tough catches. He's an excellent zone receiver and his 50 yards on 4 catches were second only to Mike Wallace's yardage output against the Giants. Cotchery makes a reasonable flex for the short-term, but based on the fact that Antonio Brown could walk on his injury don't expect a long recovering that keeps Cotchery a viable threat.

Rueben Randle, Giants: If Domenik Hixon misses extensive time due to an ankle injury Randle will see more opportunities as the No.3 receiver. However, it may also signal more looks for tight end Martellus Bennett. Randle is a boom-bust option with deep speed and red zone size, but not the polish to put it all together just yet.

Kevin Ogletree, Cowboys: Ogletree had 96 yards on 3 catches two weeks ago, but as I mentioned here don't count on him unless Bryant or Miles Austin are hurt. He didn't see a target at all this week.

Donald Driver, Packers: If Jordy Nelson misses time after this week's bye with his ankle injury while Greg Jennings remains out after abdominal surgery, the veteran Driver could be counted on for more opportunities. He can play all three positions and he's a smart zone receiver with enough speed to still surprise. Consider Driver a smart one- or two-week gamble in deep leagues if needed.

Leonard Hankerson, Redskins: The wide receivers are the carousel in Washington this year. Hankerson nearly caught a play action post for a long gain three weeks ago and was just a half-step shy of getting more than his fingertips on the ball. At the same time, he did make some third- and fourth-down conversions in the second half of the game two weeks ago as a possession receiver in the middle of the field. In this quick-passing game, Hankerson is good for some slants and crossers as long as he remains the starter. It makes him a low-end bye-week option with some upside due to his opportunities at least once a week on play action shot plays.

Austin Pettis, Rams: Pettis likely saw more opportunities this week due to the disciplinary action Chris Givens earned for violating team rules. Pettis did catch a red zone pass for a touchdown, earning 15 yards and 3 receptions on the day. Stylistically speaking, his physical skill and hands make him a Marques Colston-Mohamed Sanu slot threat. He's just not nearly as polished as Colston or as dynamic as Sanu. Don't count on much unless Givens remains inactive for more than a week.

Brian Quick, Rams: Quick knocked down a cornerback in press coverage, got up the right sideline wide open and caught the ball for a 36-yard score. It was a nice play on Quick's part to exploit the corner's poor balance early in the release from the line of scrimmage. However, this was the only target Quick saw all day. Don't add him this week unless injuries strike the depth chart between now and Week 11.

Jarrett Boykin, Packers: Boykin is a physical receiver with build-up speed who made the Packers roster as a training camp longshot. He has earned time the past two weeks and continues to flash smart route running. He's barely worth mentioning, but the Packers depth chart of healthy options is shrinking. Boykin may not be ready for prime time, but with a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers he still might produce if called upon.

Devon Wylie, Chiefs: The rookie from Fresno State earned some hype as a potential Wes Welker player in terms of style but with more speed. A leg injury has kept him from contributing in training camp, the preseason, or the regular season until this week. He returned kicks and saw some opportunities in the offensive when Jonathan Baldwin suffered a head and neck injury falling awkwardly during the act of a catch. Wylie has an injury history, a lack of rapport with Matt Cassel and will still be likely to split time with other receivers. He's a player to monitor for another week to see the nature of Baldwin's injury and how the Chiefs will use the rookie if called into more extensive action.

Tight End Options

There aren't a lot of additions this week at the tight end position. Most of the players on the border between add and drop will be "holds" in this week's Upgrades-Downgrades report.

8-12 Percent of blind bidding budget

Scott Chandler, Bills: Chandler and the Bills have a good enough schedule moving forward that he's worth a bump back to high-end TE2 status with TE1 upside. He had eight targets, five catches, 65 yards, and a score on short post this weekend. With the Patriots, Dolphins, Colts, Jaguars, and Rams next, he could help a team in need of tight end during a stretch run to make the playoffs. The running backs are healthy enough to keep safeties and linebackers honest, which only helps Chandler's routes break open a little easier.

Brandon Myers, Raiders: Myers has 25 catches for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns during the past four weeks. He had a one-yard score over the middle and a four-yard touchdown in the left flat where he dove for the pylon this weekend against the Buccaneers two weeks ago. With a good-to-very-good schedule ahead, Myers is a reasonable committee tight end for a Raiders team lacking consistent options in the passing game. Think of him as a poor man's version of Kevin Boss when Boss was with the Giants some years ago.

Dennis Pitta, Eagles: Pitta had a leaping catch in the end zone to break his five-game scoring drought. This 5-catch, 67-yard effort against the lowly Raiders was his best day since Week Three against the Patriots. The Steelers (twice), Chargers, and Redskins are the three teams they'll face in the next four weeks. Despite a rough stretch, Pitta has seen 19 targets during the past four weeks, so he's a worthwhile gamble as a high-end flex.

Kyle Rudolph, Vikings: The Vikings said publicly that they wanted to get Rudolph more involved and that succeeded doing so, targeting the tight end 9 times for 7 catches, 64 yards, and touchdown on a flat route where he broke one tackle and turned up the left sideline for over half of the 20 yards gained on the play. Adrian Peterson is running so well that Rudolph should continue to earn nice looks against safeties or linebackers on play action passes. The schedule of the Bears (twice), Packers, and Rams isn't great, but still makes him a viable option after the Week 11 bye if he's still available.

1-3 percent of blind bidding budget

Dwayne Allen, Colts: Allen continues to see as many if not more targets than Coby Fleener. He's a reliable underneath option with skill after the catch and ability to adjust to the football. The Colts schedule of the Patriots, Bills, Lions, and rematch with the Titans makes Allen a reasonable week-to-week flex- or bye-week option for fantasy owners in larger leagues. He's still a hit-or-miss player, but I think he's one of the smarter gambles of this lot of tight ends beyond the top 12. His 6 catches for 75 yards last weekend and 2 catches for 31 on Thursday support that boom-bust point, but he's earning recognition in the media among analysts for his strong play. Keep him in mind because he's the most talented tight end of the 2012 draft class.

Zach Miller, Seahawks: Miller is earning a consistent amount of looks in the short game during recent weeks and looks good making catches in the flat or the sideline. He's not a down field option, but he is strong, fluid, and reliable for 3-5 catches and 20-40 yards with the potential for a touchdown.

Dustin Keller, Jets: Keller has 17 catches for 227 yards and a touchdown during the past three weeks prior to the Week 9 Bye. He has been Mark Sanchez's favorite option and has the most rapport with the quarterback among the carousel of receivers passing through the Big Apple in recent years. He did drop a potential big play on the right side of the field, but he's known for a dropping passes. He's a talented and inconsistent option.The Rams and Patriots are ahead and there's no reason to think that he can't provide low-end TE1 fantasy production for the Jets' weapon-depleted offense.

Logan Paulsen, Redskins: Paulsen has 13 catches for 178 yards during the past three weeks before this weekend's bye. The Eagles, Cowboys, and Giants defenses are a mixed bag of matchups, but Paulsen and Griffin have a rapport in this quick-passing offense that should limit Paulsen's down side.

Tony Moeaki, Chiefs: This was Moeaki's best game of the year. He began the game with a 38-yard gain up the right seam off play action after three straight runs to the right side. He broke a tackle in the secondary after the catch for nearly half of the yards. It was the longest gain of his short career. He had a more pivotal role late in the game, earning 18 up the seam during the two-minute drill and then another pass near mid field for a first down with just a minute left. He also had a gain of nearly 15 that he took out of bounds with less than 30 seconds left but he was called for pushing off the Lawrence Timmons on his break, which was a very questionable call. Moeaki's three-catch, 68-yard day follows a 57-yard game two weeks ago. Moeaki might be a decent desperation addition in deep leagues for the remaining bye week, and a player to watch due to a good schedule down the stretch.

1 percent hit-or-miss bye-week options "Duct-Tape"

Joel Dreessen, Broncos: Dreessen has69 yards and a touchdown on 6 catches during the past two weeks and he has four touchdowns during the past seven weeks. He's a desperation flex-play with red zone upside due to his quarterback.

Dallas Clark, Buccaneers: Clark caught a short flat route for a three-yard score against the Chargers and that was the extent of his targets. He remains a low-end desperation play in deep leagues because the Buccaneers are playing well, the running game is clicking, and Clark has 6 catches, 65 yards, and a touchdown during the past three weeks. The Panthers, Falcons, and Broncos are ahead.

Garrett Graham, Texans: Graham has 10 catches for 83 yards and a touchdown during the past four weeks. Graham is nearly as talented as Daniels and sees the field enough for 1-2 receptions per game. He scored last weekend against the Bills and is worth a desperation matchup during the final two bye weeks, if Owen Daniels cannot play again next week against the Jaguars. The Texans offense was held back this weekend due to the Bears, the rain, and a soggy field that generated 229 yards passing total for both teams.

Tom Crabtree, Packers: Crabtree has two long touchdowns in the past month and last weekend's was a 72-yard score up the middle of the Cardinals defense. The hybrid tight end has a better rapport with Aaron Rodgers and potential superstar Jermichael Finley. Crabtree is a boom-bust option, but worth consideration in larger leagues.

Kicker Options

Blair Walsh, Vikings: Walsh was the No.4 fantasy kicker heading into Week 11, but wasn't earning a ton of respect because the Minnesota passing offense seemed to be falling apart at the seams. Even with Percy Harvin out this weekend, Walsh had four field goals (48, 23, 23, and 33). With the Bears (twice), and the Packers after the Week 11 bye, the Vikings have a rough schedule. However, they also have the best football player in the league running the football like he's actually Wolverine of the X-Men. Upgrade Walsh and count on him as a starter.

Matt Prater, Broncos: The Broncos he a great schedule, a strong passing offense, and a kicker with a strong leg. Prater was 2-of-3 on field goals (53 and 27) and 4-of-4 on extra point attempts. He's worth a low-end start if you don't have a kicker in the top 10.

Team Defense Options

Seattle Seahawks: If your leagues score generously for sacks and turnovers, the Seahawks are among the top five defenses in fantasy football. If not, Seattle is just below top-12 status and face the Dolphins, Bears, Cardinals, Bills, and 49ers next, which are all teams that aren't prolific point-scorers. If available, take a chance on this unit.

Waiver Wire Drops

With four teams on bye next week, use your best judgment with regard to dropping the players listed below.


Michael Vick, Eagles: Vick suffered a concussion and apparent eye injury this weekend and gave way to rookie Nick Foles. There will be a lot of talk that Vick will be benched for the season so the team can evaluate Foles' long-term potential. If Vick continues to start, he's still a worthwhile low-end QB1. If benched, the worst-case scenario is that he's droppable. Be cautious about dropping Vick, but I at least have to mention the possibility of doing so if the conditions are ripe for it. I recommend waiting at least a couple of weeks even if he's benched this week. Foles could get hurt or the team could change its mind.

Running Backs

Travaris Cadet, Saints: Chris Ivory, Mark Ingram, and Pierre Thomas have earned the Saints workload. Cadet is returning kicks and earning spot-time as a space player on a limited basis. He's not worth keeping in re-draft leagues.

Taiwan Jones, Raiders: Jones has the explosiveness and agility of Chris Johnson, but even less maturity as a runner. If Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson miss multiple weeks due to injuries sustained during the Buccaneers game, Jones could be thrust into the lineup as a committee back with Marcel Reece. He was slated to earn time in two-back sets this weekend against the Ravens and that amounted to a total of two carries and a target for a total of 13 yards, thanks to an early deficit that forced the Raiders into more one-back sets. He has excellent upside, but he's a big-time, boom-bust option.

Cedric Peerman, Bengals: Peerman is a forgotten talent in the Bengals backfield and his best chance of earning carries will only come if Green-Ellis gets hurt.

Bilal Powell, Jets: Powell left this game in the second half due to a concussion. He's only a third-down option in this offense and rarely earns the same quality of touches as Shonn Greene. Drop him until there's reason to take another chance on him. Those reasons include a Greene injury, a Rex Ryan firing, or an announcement that Powell will be the starter. Don't count on any of those things happening this year.

Wide Receivers

Domenik Hixon, Giants: Hixon suffered an ankle injury this weekend and has only seen 4 receptions for 34 yards in the past three weeks. He's worth monitoring down the stretch if the Giants offense suffers injuries to its depth chart, but he's droppable right now.

Brandon LaFell, Panthers: LaFell had a nice catch and run two weeks ago where Cam Newton found the receiver up the seam and safety Chris Conte was occupied further outside and could not run down LaFell until the Panther gained another 35-45 yards for a total of 62 on the play. However, LaFell suffered a head injury and missed much of the contest. His 4 catches for 88 yards was his best output since a 90-yard game against the Saints and his two-week totals heading into Week 9 were 12 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown. He still has flex appeal in larger leagues, but he missed last week against the Redskins and he will have a more difficult task against the Broncos. His schedule has this up-and-down nature until mid-December so unless you have deep rosters, don't get too attached.

Justin Blackmon, Jaguars: With Cecil Shorts and Laurent Robinson getting on track, Blackmon seems to be the No.3 or No.4 option in the Jaguars passing game. Blackmon is currently a dime-a-dozen, bye-week, injury sub that you can find in abundance on most waiver wires.

Jerome Simpson, Vikings: I'm more inclined to say that Simpson is slowly getting back to form after suffering a back injury that caused numbness in his legs, but matchups with the Bears and Texans alternating with the Packers, and Rams makes him a dicey flex-play at best as the third or fourth option in this passing offense, even with Percy Harvin out. Especially with Harvin out.

Santana Moss, Redskins: Moss was considered a low-end flex-play with against the Panthers but suffered a head injury during the game. With the Eagles and Cowboys after the bye, Moss is a desperation play against these units. Moss is a smart receiver in an option-style offense capable of 3-5 catches per week. Consider the veteran fantasy duct-tape at best.

Tight Ends

Jermichael Finley, Packers: I say drop him in shallow leagues and I'd advocate a similar move in many medium and large leagues. I understand keeping Finley if you believe his struggles are due to a shoulder injury. However, I believe Finley has proven that he has lapses in concentration, doesn't play to his potential, and then uses his agent to criticize his quarterback. If you can get someone to give some value in a trade, do it. I just doubt you will in a re-draft league.


Alex Henery, Eagles: Henery missed a point after attempt and this offense if floundering. If Michael Vick misses next week or multiple weeks due to a concussion or a benching, Henery is a risk as a low-end PK1.

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to waldman@footballguys.com.

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